Industries & Professions /
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment of travel agents will experience little or no growth through 2018. Most airlines and other travel suppliers now offer consumers the option of making their own travel arrangements through online reservation services, which are readily accessible through the Internet. Thus, travelers are becoming less dependent upon agents to make travel arrangements for them. The U.S. Travel Association reports that approximately 90 million consumers were planning and booking their travel arrangements exclusively online as of June 2009. Additionally, airlines have eliminated the flat commission they pay travel agencies. This has reduced the income of many agencies, thereby making them less profitable and less able to hire new travel agents. Since these innovations are recent, their full effect on travel agents has not yet been determined.